Saturday, January 7, 2012

China sees militarism in Obama's new strategy

Source: Press TV

China's state news agency warned against growing U.S. militarism, citing President Obama's new military spending strategy, which Chinese experts see as an effort to encircle them and reduce their influence in the region.

A number of news stories in China focused on this story, with a Chinese newspaper owned by the nation's ruling Communist Party warned against “appeasement” of the U.S. and urged China's military to adopt an “assertive” policy in response.

President Obama's strategy has been presented primarily as a “cut” in the U.S. media, even though it amounts to an overall spending increase. It reduces the number of ground troops but increases spending on both warplanes and naval power.

The change, particularly the increased focus on naval power, is seen by the Chinese as focusing on an inevitable intervention in the South China Sea, where China is in an ongoing dispute with other nations over some key islands. Antiwar


The military strategy that President Barack Obama unveiled January 5 will lead to a smaller force in the Army and Marines and a shift to counter China's military might. USA Today

President Obama said the United States will strengthen its presence in the Asia Pacific region even as it cuts billions of dollars from overall defense spending. VOA

Administration officials have said they expect Army and Marine Corp personnel levels to be reduced by 10 percent to 15 percent over the next decade as part of the reductions. Reuters

The strategy emphasizes high-tech surveillance and drones, and the use of special forces to assist foreign militaries to quell conflicts. The U.S. nuclear force may also shrink.

China has warned the United States over its new military strategy, which includes a shift in focus to the Asia-Pacific region.

.. while boosting its military presence in the Asia-Pacific, the United States should abstain from flexing its muscles, as this won't help solve regional disputes. If the United States indiscreetly applies militarism in the region, it will be like a bull in a china shop, and endanger peace instead of enhancing regional stability. Xinhua

The FY 2012 budget requests a total of $676 billion for the Department of Defense (DoD). The base budget for DoD includes $553 billion in discretionary funding and $5 billion in mandatory funding, and an additional $118 billion is requested for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The budget request also includes $19 billion for defense-related atomic energy programs and $8 billion for defense-related activities in other agencies, bringing the total national defense budget to $703 billion.

Adjusting for inflation, the level of funding proposed for the base defense budget in the FY 2012 request is the highest level since World War II, surpassing the Cold War peak of $531 billion (in FY 2012 dollars) reached in FY 1985.

The United States spent $728 billion on its military in 2010, about 45% of the world’s $1.6 trillion total. U.S. spending amounts to more than the next fourteen largest military spending countries combined. In fact, the U.S. spends nearly 6 times more than the next largest military spender, China. In addition, most of the top-spending countries are American allies.

What is being proposed (as military cuts) are minor reductions in the rate of growth in projected defense spending.

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